By Christin Ayers

SAN RAFAEL (KPIX 5) – A horse trapped inside a brick-lined well in San Rafael came close to drowning before rescue crews managed to pull it out.

The nine-year-old Morgan horse named ‘Buddy’ became trapped after stepping on a solid wood covering over the well which collapsed, sending Buddy into the 20-foot deep well.

The horse thrashed helplessly as it struggled to lift its head to breathe. A worker at the ranch heard the animal wailing. “It was terrifying. It was absolutely terrifying,” said Jordyn McCord, one of the witnesses on the scene.

By the time authorities got there, no one knew how long Buddy had been in the water. “We thought we might lose this horse,” said Lt. Douglas Pittman of the Marin County Sheriff’s Dept. “Specifically when we first arrived and the horse was having difficulty keeping his head above water.”

Rescuers harnessed Buddy’s head to keep it above water. They even added more water to the well, hoping the horse would climb out.

Finally, a large crane was brought in to hoist Buddy out of the well. The horse was able to walk back to its corral.

“I’m relieved. I’m completely relieved,” said owner Linda Boyd. “He looks like he’s gonna be OK.”

The horse needed an intravenous solution and sustained a cut on its eye along with a few scrapes on its legs, but otherwise veterinarians said Buddy will be fine.

Boyd said she would be installing a fence around the well to prevent another accident.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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